Cambodia’s Curse by Joel Brinkley

Former journalist (and current journalism professor at Stanford) Joel Brinkley’s Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land (PublicAffairs, 416 pp., $27.99) is a report on the author’s 2008 and 2009 visits to Cambodia. Brinkley had covered the Cambodian holocaust in 1979 for The New York Times, winning a Pulitzer Prize in the process.

In this book, Brinkley offers a brief history of Cambodia, retells the tale of the Khmer Rouge’s Killing Fields, covers political events there in the 1990s and the early 2000s, and brings us up to date on what’s happening in that land today.

Among his findings: As many as half of all Cambodians who were alive during the Killing Fields have PTSD, and the current leader, Hun Sen, is little more than a self-serving dictator.

—Marc Leepson

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